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Paramount Announces Western Blu-ray Wave, Including Once Upon a Time in the West

Posted March 21, 2011 04:53 AM by Juan Calonge

ParamountParamount Home Entertainment has announced no fewer than four western movies from its late-60s and early-70s catalog for Blu-ray release on May 31, in time for Father's Day: Big Jake (George Sherman, 1971), A Man Called Horse (Elliot Silverstein, 1970), Once Upon a Time in the West (Sergio Leone, 1968) and Rio Lobo (Howard Hawks, 1970).

Special features have been listed only for Once Upon a Time in the West and they include:
  • Commentary featuring directors John Carpenter, John Milius and Alex Cox, film historians Sir Christopher Frayling and Dr. Sheldon Hall plus cast and crew
  • An Opera of Violence
  • The Wages of Sin
  • Something to Do with Death
  • Railroad: Revolutionising the West
  • Locations Then & Now
  • Production Gallery
  • Theatrical Trailer (in HD)
  • Easter Egg New Trailer



Source: Blu-ray.com | Permalink | United States [Country settings]

News comments (52 comments)



zemat
  Mar 21, 2011
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I announced "Once upon a Time in America" more than two weeks ago, and no one here thought to take this post into account...
http://forum.blu-ray.com/italy/144779-once-upon-time-west.html#post4442688

shelldweller
  Mar 21, 2011
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Great! Been waiting for "Once upon a Time in the West" to be released... great News!

demiscy
  Mar 21, 2011
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@zemat what you posted was for Italy.

The news article is for the US

Robert Siegel
  Mar 21, 2011
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And the classics keep rolling out. Now for classic fans, the format is getting to be an even more exciting experience!.

Tcan21
  Mar 21, 2011
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well you posted it in the international, Italy section, thats probably why no one took it into account.....but great news that this is getting a U.S. release!

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Grubert
  Mar 21, 2011
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zemat: http://www.blu-ray.com/news/?id=5972

Minimejer05
  Mar 21, 2011
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I have a friend who will be very pleased.

Simon Lewis
  Mar 21, 2011
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Great news. Assuming they are good transfers, I will want all of these. The end of May is looking very expensive.

Top reviewer
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LordCrumb
  Mar 21, 2011
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Once Upon a Time in the West: I watched this today again on DVD. seriously can't wait for the BD, it is sure to look AMAZING.
toonloon
  Mar 21, 2011
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The Once Upon a Time in the West is one of the best looking DVDs I have ever seen. Upscaled it looks amazing. I don't have it to hand, but can someone tell me if the special features are the same please?
Snake in my Boots
  Mar 21, 2011
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I hope they ponied up (hahaha) for decent transfers. Good news. Now somebody get a remastered man with no name trilogy going and we'll be really happy.

octagon
  Mar 21, 2011
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Whoa, four solid catalog releases from Paramount.

Please let this be a sign of things to come...
NYorker
  Mar 21, 2011
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Can't wait...
But somewhat disappointed in the extras: all ported over from the DVD, with almost nothing new - except for a trailer in HD...? for a 50 year-old movie...!?
Oh well, as long as the transfer is polished...

Shanester
  Mar 21, 2011
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Can't wait to see Henry Fonda playing against type as a bad guy on Blu!!

SixSpeedSamurai
  Mar 21, 2011
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Sweet, they should make a Collector's Edition that comes with a harmonica.

Arkadin
  Mar 21, 2011
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incredible news!
now Paramount just needs to release an Audrey Hepburn wave and they will be back on the road towards some respectability.
penguin
  Mar 21, 2011
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Roll on Gunfight at the OK Corral and Rooster Cogburn!

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Wdm81
  Mar 21, 2011
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Although Good bad and the ugly is seen as Leone's Masterpeice I'vea lways thought Once upon a time in the west is his greatest film.

ragingbull
  Mar 21, 2011
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Looks like no new special features, all DVD ports. Still excited to see more classics on Blu. I could do with some more westerns like Winchester '73 and The Naked Spur.
WVbkelley
  Mar 21, 2011
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What a disappointing list - except for the Sergio Leone classic.

Paramount left much better westerns in the vaults including "Who Shot Liberty Valance" (Wayne & Stewart), "Shane" (Alan Ladd), "The Tin Star" (Henry Fonda), "Will Penny" (Charlton Heston), "Gunfight at the O.K. Corral" (Kirk Douglas & Burt Lancaster), "The Sons of Katie Elder" (Wayne), "The Last Train From Gun Hill" (Douglas and Anthony Quinn) and "Nevada Smith" (Steve McQueen). Paramount could have released "Nevada" the same time as McQueen's "Le Mans" coming out on Blu-ray in May.

Hopefully Paramount keeps the natural film grain for "Once Upon a Time in the West" and doesn't use DNR like Fox used on "The Good, The Bad and the Ugly" which has waxy faces and lost detail. Fox didn't use DNR for the other two Eastwood westerns ("A Fistful of Dollars" and "For a Few Dollars More") and the Blu-rays have much more detail and overall sharpness.

All of the Leone Westerns used a film process (Techniscope) that produced a much larger film grain. The process produced two frames per the normal one 35mm film frame and then it was enlarged in the lab process which causes the grain to be larger. This saved Leone half the film cost.

BluPix
  Mar 21, 2011
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I've been anticipating the blu-ray of Once Upon a Time in the West for what seems like forever. And now it's finally happening. One of my favorite films and probably my favorite of Leone's films. Given that it's Paramount, the transfer will likely be above average. For me, this is a no-brainer preorder. I'll also check out Rio Lobo from the great Howard Hawks. I hope the crest of the "wave" of Paramount classics on blu rises and stays high indeed.

@ WVbkelley: I also hope some of those films will come to blu soon including The Man Who Shot Liberty Vallance, Shane, and Gunfight at the OK Corral.

ShellOilJunior
  Mar 21, 2011
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Leone for me.

More waves, please.
friend
  Mar 21, 2011
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Once Upon a Time in the West! Let's hope its the recent restoration that premiered at The Rome Film Festival in 2007. It was Martin Scorsese's The Film Foundation that made the great effort of restoring he film.

http://www.film-foundation.org/common/news/articles/detail.cfm?Classification=news&QID=6219&ClientID=11004


From the Guardian (March 2007):

"Margaret Bodde, executive director of the US-based Film Foundation set up by Scorsese and others, says the American director, who knew Leone, had the idea of getting the movie restored after watching the DVD released in the US. "The colour was really not correct and the quality not up to what it should be," she says."

"It can also require tact. Before work can begin on Once Upon a Time in the West, an agreement will have to be hammered out between Paramount, which owns the non-Italian rights, and the family of the late director, which has the negative."

Read the whole article:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2007/mar/23/5

Cap Nord
  Mar 21, 2011
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The big surprise for me is that one of my favourite Richard Harris movies 'A Man Called Horse' is finally coming out on Blu Ray. That and Once Upon a Time in The West are definite first day buys for me.
batlash
  Mar 21, 2011
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Very excited about Once Upon a Time in the West. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it will be the restored version, but not holding my breath.

Top contributor
Ator the Invincible
  Mar 21, 2011
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Great news! I love me some good Westerns.

Top reviewer
wnicholas76
  Mar 21, 2011
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Once Upon a Time in the West, Big Jake, and Rio Lobo for me.

Top contributor
Blu Titan
  Mar 21, 2011
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Finally, some great catalog releases from Paramount. Once Upon a Time in the West is a must.

zemat
  Mar 21, 2011
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@ anyone interested :
Firstly the post has been posted for the Italian part of the forum, because I was not able to post a new thread, so I had to use a pre-existing thread...
Secondly, I sent two days later the news to Bill Hunt of Digitalbits, who mentioned it : http://www.thedigitalbits.com/mytwocentsa190.html

Rainman208
  Mar 21, 2011
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I want The Core.

Brad1963
  Mar 21, 2011
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@ WVbkelley; i agree, other than Once Upon a time in the West the list is not the best choices Paramount could have gone with. Other Paramount Wayne titles The Shootist (35th Aniv) and El Dorado could have been considered. Gunfight at OK Corral and Last Train from Gun Hill are 2 I would personally love to have on Blu ray.

4LOM
  Mar 21, 2011
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First infos from Germany indicates that the Blu-ray will include both the theatrical and the restored versions.
http://www.dvduell.de/artikel/spiel-mir-das-lied-vom-tod-blu-ray-mit-zwei-schnittfassungen/

eChopper
  Mar 21, 2011
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Bah , One Eyed Jacks shitz on all of these

Arkadin
  Mar 21, 2011
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It is a bit surprising that "man who shot liberty valance" and "El Dorado" didn't get released first over the other two Wayne films, as they were released in the centennial collection while the others were not.
not really a big deal, as paramount needs to release every wayne film they have the rights to anyway.
I think this bodes well for that.
as far as "other" great westerns they have like "Shane" or "Gunfight at OK Corrall" I agree they should be released, but I certainly don't think "A man called horse" should be criticized--it's an all-time classic also.
I mean C'mon.

AKORIS
  Mar 21, 2011
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I'll take all 4 of these!
Runfellow
  Mar 21, 2011
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I'm a little curious about the commentaries on Once Upon a Time in the West. If I remember my DVD edition, it seems like there was one track with Frayling and that's it.

This has:
"Commentary featuring directors John Carpenter, John Milius and Alex Cox, film historians Sir Christopher Frayling and Dr. Sheldon Hall plus cast and crew"

No matter how you split it up (I'm guessing JC, JM, AC on one, SCF and Dr. SH on another, and cast and crew on yet another?) it's going to be a boon to fans, so I'm excited.

Captain Rex Kramer
  Mar 21, 2011
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News about classic westerns being released are always a welcomed sight! Will be picking all of them up!

CandyStalker
  Mar 21, 2011
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That commentary track (from the DVD) is disappointing. Carpenter always did the best commentaries but here he just describes what is happening on the screen. Zzzz.

Still, we need more Bronson on blu-ray.

ImportFanatic
  Mar 21, 2011
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Hopefully these have better, more faithful transfers than Paramount's release of the original True Grit...

Jimmy W
  Mar 21, 2011
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Great news:
Once Upon a Time in the West (Sergio Leone, 1968) and Rio Lobo (Howard Hawks, 1970).

.....and.....

Good news:
Big Jake (George Sherman, 1971),

stlcards
  Mar 21, 2011
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Rio Lobo (one of my favorites), Big Jake, and Once Upon A Time In The West for me and I hope for more John Wayne.

paul_66
  Mar 21, 2011
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Same here. I'm glad more John Waynes are hitting blu-ray, and hope for more. But May already has two more John Waynes from Fox/MGM, which is the month of his b-day, so rock on. Four John Waynes in May. I'll also pick up Once Upon a Time in the West.

ImportFanatic: True Grit looked fantastic to me.
Bruce Morrison
  Mar 21, 2011
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EChopper: I don't think One-Eyed Jacks is owned by Paramount. I know they once released it on laserdisc but it has now fallen into the public domain, which wouldn't have happened if Paramount still owned it. As far as I know, it is owned by the Brando Estate, who clearly have no interest in releasing it on any kind of home video format. Sad but apparently true. Maybe they could be persuaded to license it out to Criterion, but it hasn't happened so far.

johndoyle123
  Mar 21, 2011
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finally that day has come paramount is starting to kick some ass with the catalog titles

keep it going
blubear II
  Mar 21, 2011
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Once Upon a Time in the West changed my life. Best blu-ray news in a looong time!

dlevine
  Mar 21, 2011
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Ha...just got the "Once Upon A Time In The West" DVD and played it on my BD player and found myself immediately desiring a BluRay of it...Can't wait for this.
However, Paramount does need to get "The Man Who Shot Liberty Vallance" on BD. We need more John Fords overall.

alphadec
  Mar 21, 2011
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fantastic news paramount more like this please

cinema_forever19
  Mar 21, 2011
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Absolutely epic!!! Once Upon a Time in the West (and The Lord of the Rings Extended Editions) are the blu-ray(s) I've been waiting for!!!

CF FilmFan
  Mar 21, 2011
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A Man Called Horse...day one!

DuaneB
  Mar 21, 2011
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Big Jake is my all time favorite John Wayne movies. Will be picking up this and Rio Lobo day one for sure.
Top contributor
Llaneras
  Mar 22, 2011
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Now that we know "Once Upon a Time in the West" is coming out on Blu-ray, I hope they'll soon get around to releasing Sergio Leone's 5th and final 'Spaghetti Western', "Duck, You Sucker" (aka: Fistful Of Dynamite).

MetalMike666
  Mar 22, 2011
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Great news! Three of my favorite westerns ... Big Jake, Rio Lobo, and Once Upon A Time In The West.


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